Winewaves & more - Click here to return to home page

Winewaves & more - Click here to return to home page

About wine, beer, spirits, & more.

Tools, news & reviews.
by Jerry Hall.
Winewaves on Facebook. Winewaves on Twitter. Winewaves & more on Instagram. Clos Denim website.

Carmenère: Alive and Well.

Apaltagua Reserva Carmenère 2015 photographed by Jerry Hall on Winewaves & More.
  • Cheers to the (Tutunjian) family-owned Apaltagua Winery for producing small batch, appellation-based wines from Chile. Their vineyards average 65 years old. Consulting winemaker Alvaro Espinoza has pioneered biodynamic grape farming techniques and he was one of the first to bottle Chilean Carmenère. The grape had been misidentified as Merlot by Chilean producers, which wasn't good because Carmenère ripens later than Merlot. Thanks in part to Espinoza, Carmenère is now one of Chile's signature varietals. Given time to ripen, it’s dark and fruity with green notes and soft tannins.
  • Carmenère originated in France but was thought to be extinct after the Phylloxera plague of 1857. It turns out that cuttings had already been brought to Chile, where curiously they grew much more successfully. Then the identity of the grape got lost until in a DNA study got it right in 1998.
  • Apaltagua Reserva Carmenère 2015 is dark in the glass, with a deep plummy and savory nose of blackcurrants, bell peppers, olive, cedar and charred beef. It's nicely spicy and fruity on the tongue along with barrel notes and a dusty firm finish. Estate grown in Colchagua Valley. Burger wine! 13.5% ABV. Real cork. Local price/750 ml: 10. (included in Woodland Wine Merchant 6/60 deal, 2/9/17.)